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IN SHORT: Lug the little ones. [Rated [G], 90 minutes]
The Muppets are performed by Dave Goelz (Gonzo), Steve Whitmire (Kermit the Frog), Bill Barretta (Bobo/Pepe) and Frank Oz (Miss Piggy/ Fozzie Bear/ Sam the Eagle/ Animal). The Muppets created by Jim Henson.
Cranky must admit, he always did prefer it when the Muppets dropped their personalities into literary classics, as in the riotous Muppet Treasure Island. Then again, they've always had scripts that wrote humor a couple of levels deep. With Muppets From Space, everything is much simpler and will appeal mainly to the single digit kidlets, even with a brilliantly funny opening sequence; a fever dream of Biblical proportions. Gonzo the Great, whatever he is, is tormented by nightmares of being turned away from Noah's ark. F. Murray Abraham is Noah, in the first of many celebrity cameos that the Muppets are known for.
No role playing here. We see the Muppets in their daily routines. Miss Piggy goes off to work at a local television station. Kermit deals with the everyday chores of running the rooming house they share. Gonzo's cereal talks to him.
It's The Muppets, folks. Of course the cereal communicates. Andie MacDowell challenges Miss Piggy for dominance of the teevee airwaves. David Arquette plays the evil research scientist. Pat Hingle is a military man who has no tolerance for aliens or felt. Simply, Muppets From Space is totally painless for us grown-ups. Then again, we ain't the demographic target for this. As for kidlets, well, Cranky lugged his niece Sherri, age 9, to a private screening. Then I stuffed her with Chinese food and ice cream and put her to work.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the Cutesy Critic ...
I thought Muppets From Space was funny, fun, hilarious and great. The show is about Gonzo and how he chooses if he wants to leave Earth with the family he dreams about or stay with the friends he's lived with for all these years. One of my favorite parts was the Oscar Mayer wiener song, sung by Rizzo the Rat. I think Miss Piggy and Gonzo were the best characters in the show. The best human character was Ed the government guy (Jeffrey Tambor) who wanted to capture Gonzo because he had to prevent an alien invasion of our planet. He thought Gonzo was an alien. So did Gonzo. Because he got messages in his cereal which told him to look at the sky. When he did, he got hit by lightning and met two cosmic fish who told him to mow the lawn. Carefully. If that doesn't prove that you're an alien, I don't know what. Meanwhile, Miss Piggy gets her own TV show about UFOs and aliens. So Gonzo goes on the show and Ed sees it, kidnaps him and tries to suck out his brain. So Kermit and the rest of the Muppets must rescue Gonzo. Luckily they have the help of Muppet Labs and an invisibility spray in Kermie's rubber ducky. Do they make it without getting caught? Is Gonzo really an alien? Find out in this movie.
Right from the horse's mouth, people. Sherri didn't note it, but Muppets From Space is the first feature from director Tim Hill, known to the kidlet crowd as the man responsible for Nickelodeon's Action League Now!. Sherri's rating for that work? "Very Cool."
The screening room had lots of kidlets, most of 'em single digits, and all were wowed. More cameos to note, all keeping the adults entertained: Rob Schneider, Rob Liotta, Hulk Hogan, and Kathy Griffin (who gets "friendly" with Cranky's favorite Muppet). As well, the entire film pulsates to some of the great rock 'n' soul tunes of the long ago 70s -- Billy Preston, Earth Wind and Fire, the O'Jays, Commodores and Isley Brothers -- and does not forget to parody the most popular SF movies and teevee shows of all time.
On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Muppets From Space, he would have paid...
There are lots of flicks aiming at the teenkids, very few that a parental unit can take the smaller young 'uns to. Muppets From Space fills that bill nicely. So why is the rating at rental level? We rate for grownups, and this flick is one we'll rent for the kids.
[and it's Animal. Did you even have to think about it???]
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